While Valley Air District officials are urging farmers to be aware of the new open burning phase-out requirements, they are also suggesting they take advantage of the Agricultural Open Burning Alternatives Incentive Program to help the dealing with removals from vineyards and orchards through new non-combustion alternatives. The program is available to growers across the valley, with dedicated and enhanced funding available for small farms.
“Working with Valley producers, communities and state partners, the San Joaquin Valley is once again demonstrating unique leadership in addressing air quality and climate challenges. thanks to the first-of-its-kind strategy to eliminate open burning of orchards and vineyards.” said Valley Air District executive director and air pollution control officer Samir Sheikh. “We urge growers, especially small farms, to carefully plan for these new requirements and leverage new resources for new alternatives that help address our air quality challenges and also provide significant additional crop and carbon reduction benefits.”
As part of the ongoing clean air efforts in the San Joaquin Valley, the Valley Air District, in conjunction with the California Air Resources Board (CARB), has adopted a new strategy to phase out remaining open burning wood waste from orchards and vineyards. withdrawals by the end of 2024. Drawing on the latest research on emerging alternatives, the new strategy provides for a rapid transition away from open burning while providing additional flexibility for smaller farms to grow. adapt to eliminations. With valley-based research and newly available state funding, significant resources and assistance are available to help reduce the high costs associated with new alternatives.
“Working with our Valley producers to reduce this practice through new technologies is critically important to improving the public health of our residents, especially in rural communities in the Valley,” said Dr. Tania Pacheco-Werner. , Valley Air District and CARB board member. “The newly available resources will help Valley growers transition to these new practices in an achievable way that protects the health and livelihoods of our communities.
“As a second-generation Valley grower, I understand the difficulties growers face in responding to drought and many other challenges, and the critical importance of transitioning to new, more sustainable practices,” said Stanislaus County Supervisor Vito Chiesa, Valley President. Air District Board of Directors. “The Valley Air District is here to help producers meet these challenges.”
Since the adoption of the Valley Air District’s Alternative Agricultural Open Burning Incentives Program and new phase-out requirements, the San Joaquin Valley has experienced a significant reduction in open burning through the adoption of new practices and is on track to achieve a 90% reduction. by the end of the year. Additional requirements for small producers at the end of 2022 and 2023 will continue to provide for further reductions in open burning before elimination by the end of 2024.
Information regarding the new disposal requirements can be found at: https://ww2.valleyair.org/agriculture/agricultural-burning
Information about available local, state, and federal resources can be found at:
• Valley Air District Alternatives to Agricultural Open Burning Grant Program: https://valleyair.org/grants/alt-ag-burning.htm.
• USDA-NRCS EQIP Program: https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detail/national/programs/financial/eqip/?cid=stelprdb1044009
• California Department of Food and Agriculture Healthy Soils Program: https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/oefi/healthysoils/
Information about the Valley Air District’s public complaint line for concerns about the burn can be found at:
• Online form at: https://ww2.valleyair.org/file-a-complaint
• Valley Air District iPhone or Android app at: http://www.valleyair.org/app
• By phone at (by county of residence): San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced (800) 281-7003; Madera, Fresno, Kings (800) 870-1037; Tulare, Kern Valley part (800) 926-5550.
The Valley Air District covers eight counties, including San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, Madera, Fresno, Kings, Tulare, and portions of the San Joaquin Valley airshed of Kern. For more information about the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, visit www.valleyair.org or call 559-230-6000.
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